Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Candies

Since this will be my last post until after Christmas, I first wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas. I hope all get to spend some quality time with family and friends. May your 2010 Christmas celebration be filled with joy and always be considered one of the cherished moments in your life.

Now back to the candy...

My mom makes these candies practically every year.  They are delicious, but there is an issue of wax.  In her candy coating, for appearance purposes, she uses melted wax along with chocolate.  I am not sure if wax is really a good thing to be eating, but she likes the shiny appearance.  Also Betty (Betty Crocker) has a coating that uses chocolate fudge frosting mix and several other ingredients.  I did not elect to do either as you will see below. This recipe makes about 5 dozen candies.

Chocolate-Coconut Candies
courtesy of Betty Crocker's Cookie Book

3 cups of chocolate chips (bittersweet or semi sweet)  
1 package of chocolate sprinkles
1 tsp almond extract
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar (1 lb)
4 cups sweetened flaked coconut (1 lb)
3/4 cup mashed potatoes (pure potatoes, nothing added)

Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.

Combine last 4 ingredients on a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed. Test the consistency by rolling a heaping teaspoon into a ball.  If it seems too sticky, take the bowl of coconut mixture and place in fridge for 1/2 to 1 hour to firm up.

Once it is the correct consistency, continue to roll heaping teaspoons of the coconut mixture and place each ball on the baking sheets.  Several balls can be placed on a sheet, since the size will not change.  When all the coconut mixture is formed and placed on the sheets, put sheets in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.

To coat the coconut pieces, you can either use a toothpick to dip each piece, drizzle it on top of the pieces or drop in chocolate and spoon out. After placing each piece back on the waxed paper, top with chocolate sprinkles.  Additional wax paper sheets may be needed for the coconut rounds, they need more spacing than before since they cannot be touching with the chocolate coating. Also, if you get through coating 2/3 of the batch of coconut pieces and see there is going to be too much chocolate, you can always give them a second coat.

With a twist: Try changing the flavoring in this recipe up to suit your taste.  I have considered using pink food coloring, kirsch (cherry liqueur) and 1/2 of a maraschino cherry in the middle to give it a cherry flavor. Also, the consistency reminds me of the inside of a peppermint patty, so peppermint is another possible flavor.